Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has signed into law, the revised 2020 appropriation bill estimated at over N62bn.
Engineer Sule appended his signature to the document at a ceremony at the Government House, on Tuesday.
The Governor explained that it has become necessary for government to review the original 2020 fiscal appropriation bill, earlier signed on 30th December, 2019, pegged at over N108bn, following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, with its consequent negative effect on the global economy.
Engineer Sule pointed out that the revised 2020 appropriation, which was deliberated upon by the State House of Assembly and passed into law precisely on Thursday, July 23, is not only in line with the reality of the expected income as a result of the outbreak of the COVID-19 but also a demonstration of the commitment of the administration to develop the state.
“The virus has shutdown global economic activities rendering capital markets ineffective for income generation and purposeful development.
“However, we remain committed and focused on our determination to provide good governance based on a reality that is anchored on the principles of transparency and accountability,” he stated.
According to Engineer Sule, in revising the 2020 budget, the State Budget Preparation Committee, was guided by the macro-fiscal and mineral sector assumptions as projected by the Federal Government Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), as well as the trend in global capital market, among others indices.
“Accordingly, the 2020 Amended Appropriation Law is Sixty Two Billon, Nine Hundred and Forty Eight Thousand, One Hundred and Thirty Eight Naira only, which translates into the total expenditure outlay,” he stated.
With this, the original 2020 budget was reduced by 41.94 percent.
The Governor however, expressed confidence that, in spite of the downturn of the economy, his administration is committed to bringing the desired development in the state, especially in the area of provision of basic infrastructure that have direct bearing on the lives of the people.
While highlighting on some of the major projects started already, namely the 25km Mararaba-Udege roa, 15km Sisinbaki-Farin Ruwa road, Bus terminals at Lafia and Karu, as well as other feeder roads within the state, Engineer Sule restated the commitment of his administration to complete all viable projects started by the previous administration.
He emphasized that his administration will complete the Lafia Cargo airport, Lafia-Keffi road, Adudu-Azara-Wuse-Platau border road amongst others, stressing that government will not neglect the remaining Lafia township roads, as well as other urban roads in the state.
The Governor noted that in spite of the challenge posed by the outbreak of the virus, his administration has recorded significant progress in the control and containment of the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
He stated that isolation centres have been provided in most parts of the state for quick and easy access to those infected, assuring that his administration will continue to provide welfare to the health personnel within limited resources.
The Governor further disclosed that a comprehensive blueprint, Nasarawa COVID-19 Response, has been developed in response to the challenges posed by the pandemic, with the revised 2020 budget aimed at allocating resources towards strategic government objectives.
According to Engineer Sule, government deliberately provided 17.56 percent total expenditures in the revised budget to cover strategic areas such as, increasing hospital beds, quarantine/isolation facilities, equipment and consumables.
Others are, improved agricultural productivity to increase source of income for the people, provision of stimulus package/loan/support to help the citizens face the crises.
Engineer Sule however reiterated that in line with the present reality, government will be strict in expenditure control to ensure efficiency in spending and accountability.
Presenting the revised 2020 budget document before the Governor, Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Balarabe, spoke on the speedy passage of the bill into law by the House, commending his colleagues for their support and patriotism, considering the importance of the bill to the state.
Earlier in an opening remarks, State Commissioner for Finance, Hon. Haruna Adamu Ogbole, noted that the implementation of the original 2020 budget was barely two months when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, with its devastating impact on global economy.
“Nasarawa State does not operate in isolation to the global economy, thus, there is the need to revise the 2020 budget in accordance with the general economic reality,” the Commissioner said.